Growing up is always hard, but Oklahoma City pop act Theatre Breaks Loose is embracing the pain. The still-young band made its mark with glossy tracks about girls anchored with computer loops and Auto-Tune, but as it — and its crowds — have aged, the decision was made to ditch the backing tracks for something more authentic.
“Our new CD, we said, ‘Absolutely no.’ Our lyrics are vulnerable, upfront and open about who we are … the music needed to reflect that. The bells and whistles don’t have to be there,” guitarist/vocalist Matt Toney said. “I started to realize the downfall of following a strictly pop pattern. It became, ‘Let’s write what we want to write.’ Those crazy beats in the background were just taking away from the simplicity of what we were doing.”
Born from the ashes of two hardcore groups, the band reformulated last year when guitarist Clay Call and bassist Jared Fatkin (formerly of The Taking State) joined Toney, front man Brandon Lovelace and drummer Zach Dumbleton.
“Our first legitimate band fight was about time travel,” Toney said. “We came close to ending the band right then and there.”
Added Call, “It’s my belief that we could have gone back in time and fixed it, though.”
Call’s songwriting hand and the band’s general will to move onward and upward brought them closer to a Third Eye Blind sound, maturing without ditching what attracted fans in the first place.
“It is right where we need to be,” Lovelace said. “The path Clay and Jared took us on is where we needed to go to continue being successful and happy with what we were doing.”
Theatre Breaks Loose’s newest, “Stranger Places, Greater Things,” reflects that while mulling topics deeper than heartbreak.
“This album fell into our lap,” Lovelace said. “It came out with the theme of believing in yourself and doing what you were called to do and never giving up.”
A successful Kickstarter campaign later, the disc will be released nationwide Tuesday, but available for early purchase Saturday at The Conservatory. Touring is in the works, so hopefully, “Stranger Places, Greater Things” has the guys going there and doing that.
“It’s us being who we are, as opposed to being who we are told we need to be to make it … whatever ‘making it’ even means,” Toney said. “At first, making it was having a physical CD.”
Added Lovelace, “And we made it, and now we are doing it again.”
Photo by Travis Clancy